Tag Archives: world cup

World Cup recap: I called it

Germany beat Argentina in the World Cup final today, and I totally called it. Before the opening ceremonies, I had correctly predicted that it was going to be Argentina vs. Germany, and that Germany was going to win one nothing in extra time. Here’s an excerpt from my notes written last month:

It’s totally going to be Germany up against Argentina, with the Germans scoring the lone point during overtime. I tell this to people and they think I’m crazy, that there’s no way Brazil isn’t going to make it at least to the finals. But I’m telling you, I I had a dream the other night, the ghost of Pele warned me that two of Brazil’s top players are going to be injured. I know I don’t really follow soccer at all, but I just have such a strong gut feeling that my prediction is accurate. I guess a month from now we’ll see, right?

Right. I’m actually a little shocked. I mean, I make crazy predictions all the time. I predicted (incorrectly) that the New York Giants were going to win the Superbowl. I foresaw (also incorrectly) that I was going to beat my little brother Joe in a footrace at my parents’ house, down to the lake and back. He totally cheated, and so sure, I can call bullshit all day, but I technically didn’t win, and so I can’t say that I called that one.

But this one, wow, the World Cup. I called it. Are there any editors at any top tier soccer magazines or web sites reading this blog? If so, I’m going to have to ask you to all line up politely as you scramble to beg me to start writing for you. I’ll get back to all of you eventually, I just urge patience.

Anyway, I’ve never been more confident in my prediction skills now that I’ve successfully intuited a month in advance the results to one of the biggest sports events on the planet. I’m confident enough, actually, to make another claim: that this year, the New York Islanders are going to crush the Minnesota Wild to win the 2015 Stanley Cup. It’s going to happen. I’m calling it. I’m on a roll. It’s going to happen.

I’m really disappointed in you, World Cup

Brazil. Argentina. Germany. The Netherlands. It’s the same teams that make it to the end of the World Cup every single time. Goddamn it, I really thought that the USA was going to go all the way. I just felt it inside, like not only were we going to win, but we were going to win huge, ten to nothing against whoever wound up making it to the other side.

Soccer: Friendly-Honduras vs Turkey

But no, it’s the same old, same old. At least Costa Rica would have made it a little interesting, an underdog to root for, but they had to lose in a shootout at the end. I’m not saying anything original at this point, but shootouts suck. It’s no better than a coin toss. Will I shoot it left or right? Choose wrong and the ball goes in the net. Sorry. Make it sudden death. Keep playing overtimes until you have a winner. If it weren’t such an obvious solution to such a clearly flawed system, I wouldn’t be so riled up.

And now I just don’t even care. Brazil wins the World Cup. Or Germany. Or Argentina. The Netherlands haven’t won it yet, but they’ve been in the finals way too many times already. You’ve blown it so often that I just can’t get behind a Netherlands victory. It’s like if the Buffalo Bills ever make it to the Superbowl again, of course I’m going to root for their opponent, because come on dude, seal the deal already or make room for someone that actually wants to get the job done.

Someone like the USA. Come on, Belgium, that was terrible. And everybody’s like, “Oh, but Tim Howard had such a historic game!” That’s great, congratulations. But you still lost. If the best game of your career doesn’t end in a capital W, then, look, I’m not taking away anything from your personal accomplishment, but your team let you down by not making anything happen offensively, and you don’t get to be celebrated for a loss. That’s why you don’t have a team made up of goalies. Because goalies don’t get points.

In 2018, I want to see four totally random countries make it to the end. I thought we were off to a good start when Spain got knocked out right away, but here we are again, it’s the same faces playing the same big games. Next time around, it’s going to be Ecuador, the Philippines, Canada, and team USA. And we’re going to win it. And that’s going to be a great World Cup. Because this one has been nothing but a huge disappointment.

Happy belated Canada Day

Happy belated Canada Day! I’m so sorry I forgot. I feel like such an idiot. And it’s not even like I have a good excuse. Sure, I was busy over the weekend, but I wasn’t up to anything at all yesterday. I just hung around the house and watched TV. And then right before I went to bed I was messing around on the Internet and I saw something about Canada Day and I was like, shit, I forgot. I forgot about Canada Day.


And like I said, it’s my own fault, all right, I’m taking full responsibility here. But there’s plenty of full responsibility to go around. Like why isn’t this stuff on TV here? I mean, yeah, we don’t live in Canada. But it’s so close. I’m closer to Canada than I am to Florida, and I have to hear about it on TV every time somebody does something crazy in the sunshine state.

Last year I wrote a piece about Canada Day (it was actually on Canada Day, I had my shit together last year) about how much I love Canada, and Canada Day. And some guy wrote me a message back saying how he’s so sick of Americans thinking Canada is a joke. I was offended, and so I ran a search of his IP address, it was from St. Louis, Missouri. Last time I checked, St. Louis is totally not in Canada.

Canada had a big year with their Olympic gold in men’s hockey. Unfortunately, they didn’t make it to the World Cup. So that was kind of disappointing. I remember when the World Cup started, I looked through all of the qualifying countries, totally surprised at Canada’s absence. Is soccer popular in Canada? Do they call it soccer or football? Or something else entirely?

I hope they make it to the World Cup someday. I hope that they make it all the way to the finals. And the other team to make it to the finals will be the USA. That would be the coolest World Cup final of all time. USA vs. Canada. A World Cup entirely dominated by two North American countries that don’t even call it football.

And the best part would be, both teams would refuse to play. They’d go out on the field, sure, but they wouldn’t touch the ball. The clock would run and extra time would be given and finally they’d get to the penalty kicks. But nobody would budge.

It’s a win-win. I’m not sure what the FIFA rules say regarding a stalemate, but maybe they’d just continue the game indefinitely, refusing to call it a match until somebody scored a point. And so it would be like an armistice, a perpetual state of America and Canada being indefinitely in the World Cup finals.

Or, they’d call it a tie and we’d both get to win. Maybe it would foster a greater sense of brotherhood and camaraderie across the US/Canadian border. Maybe our elected officials would say something like, why do we have this border anyway? Don’t the many things we have in common outweigh our differences?

And we’d form one country, a North American superpower. And we’d probably have to get rid of Canada Day, sorry, but don’t worry, we’ll get rid of the Fourth of July also. We’ll start a new national holiday, for a new nation. (Americanada? Is that too easy? We’ll think of something.) We’ll put it somewhere in the middle, like July 2nd, or 3rd. I don’t know how we’ll decide which one, neither is perfectly in the middle.

Maybe some sort of an exhibition soccer match? No, that would only drive us further apart. Maybe we’d just make it a two-day holiday. And if Americanada Day happened to fall on a Wednesday, meaning a Wednesday/Thursday holiday, most bosses would probably just make it a five-day weekend, because what would be the point of making everybody come in only for one day?

When I say World, you say Cup. World. World.

That’s right, it’s the World Cup. Has it been four years already? It feels like just yesterday that I was saying to myself, “Wow, is it 2010 already? It feels like just yesterday that …” you get the point. I never think about soccer at all until it’s the World Cup. So when I think of my life in relation to soccer, it’s always about how fast time goes by, in these really quick four-year lurches.


And then when it’s actually the World Cup, time does a complete one-eighty and comes to a halt. It’s like somehow those four years that flew by in between World Cups get compressed into thirty days where the clock barely moves at all. I find myself constantly asking myself, “Seriously? Is it still the World Cup?”

There’s always a moment for like half a second where I tell myself that this year I’m going to get into it, that for thirty days at least, I’m going to start paying attention to soccer. But the other day I went to the gym and one of the games was playing on all of the TVs. So that was a little discouraging, that I’d already neglected to find out when the games were on or who was playing.

And whatever, all of the machines were facing in that direction, so I tried to follow the gameplay as I worked out. But after like ten or fifteen minutes, I really had trouble maintaining focus. The ball was going up and then to the side and then back again. For a while I looked at this guy to my left, he was watching the TV with an intense focus that let me know that he was serious. And I’d look to him, every once in a while switching from the screen and back to his expression.

At one point he clapped his hands together, muttering something to himself, “Yes!” I could tell he was pumped about something that just happened. But, and I was watching, I had no idea what he got excited about. As far as I could tell, there hadn’t been any significant change in the game’s momentum. The ball looked like it was bouncing back and forth and up the same as it had been the whole game.

It’s stupid to rip on soccer. Obviously the rest of the world likes it. And I can’t get mad at people for only watching soccer during the World Cup. I mean, how else is the sport supposed to gain followers if not during these huge international competitions? It’s just a really easy target, soccer, with its gigantic field, seemingly three hundred players on the “pitch” at the same time, running this way and that, the dramatic embellishment, the ridiculously corrupt governing organization.

I want to like soccer, I really do. But I also really want to keep throwing cheap shots at soccer, because it’s just so easy. Whatever, if the US wins the World Cup this year, I’ll never say anything bad about soccer again. So don’t let me down Landon Donovan.

Wait, what?